Building safety is an issue that is addressed in every municipality across the nation. Different geographic regions have inherently differing needs but, for the most part, buildings across the country need to meet the same level of safety and construction quality as those in the rest of the country.
To ensure widespread safety within the construction industry, the International Building Code (IBC) was developed and adopted as the model to follow throughout the country.
Today’s International Building Code was finalized in the year 2000 and is based on three regional model codes that came into use almost 100 years before. As building needs, materials, and technologies have changed over the years, these regional codes were updated accordingly.
The first model code universal to the entire United States was published in 1997, leading the way for the finalized 2000 edition. A new website, activated in 2007, features the International Building Code in automated form on the internet.
The 2000 hard copy edition of the International Code book is massive, consisting of more than 700 pages. It incorporates building standards adopted by subsets of building codes that address plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and fire protection standards.
Some specific issues addressed by the International Building Code regulations include how intended occupancy affects a building’s classification. The IBC does not apply to dwellings designed for one- and two-family occupancy.
For other buildings, however, the International Building Code sets standards for building height and size, acceptable interior finish materials and techniques, sprinkler system systems, and interior traffic flow.
The International Building Code also contains regulations for roof, wall, and foundation construction and the materials that can be used in their construction. Acceptable means of travel between floors is included for stairways, escalators, and elevators.
The International Building Code has not been accepted as law in every jurisdiction in the US but those jurisdictions not accepting it have building codes established that come very near to meeting all IBC requirements.